August 7th, 2011


Social Promotion

I'm here to promote all the wonderful things all my wonderful peoples are up to. (* may contain up to 2% self-aggrandizement due to settling on shipment)

Let's begin with the Los Angeles HP Lovecraft Film Festival, since it allows for multiple propers to be given. The fest runs September 16-17.

The LA version of the fest is, of course, the brainchild of aaronjv, in association with Andrew Migliore, the founder of the Portland HPLFF.

The fest will screen The Whisperer in Darkness, made by the good folks at the HPLHS, namely Sean Branney and Andrew Leman. The film also features a host of background players of my acquaintance. Off the top of my head: Aaron, Adrianne, Bryan, Chris, David, Jennifer, Maria, and my own self.

The groovy festival poster was created by David Milano.

The fest will have a small literary reading/panel discussion headed up by the dimly-half-remembered-didn't-we-meet-twenty-years-ago Cody Goodfellow, and featuring a handful of luminaries, with me representing the dim end of the luminary spectrum.

In a similar visual Lovecraftian vein is Dr. Pookie's recent magic lantern show: Ice, with voiceover work by me.

Speaking of (real) voice talent, Flor is putting her demo reel together. Other vocal folds for hire include Toren, Graydon & Shawn

Maria Alexander's poetry collection, At Louche Ends, was recently published, as was Left Hanging, an anthology of suspenseful stories edited by her.

Aaron is also in charge of a road rally event coming up on August 27th here in Los Angeles. His first one was great, and I'll be there for version 2.0.

Dr. Pookie's art found itself on the cover of Petrychor's album, Effigies and Epitaphs.

Chun continues his episodic science fiction simulation/LARP, Starship Valkyrie.

Probably too many other people to mention are also pushing forward various LARP, RPG, and video game projects. So everyone just go out and spend money on these things, ok?

Jackie Kashian will make with the funny somewhere near you sooner or later.

The reanimated The Unspeakable Oath has featured John Tynes, Richard Becker, Dan Harms, Toren Atkinson in its recent issues.

Toren and his pals make the Caustic Soda podcast. It often makes me break out in inappropriate laughter at work.

Various bebbies 'n' weddings are in the works.

I've tried to concentrate on things recent and shortly upcoming, but no doubt I've forgotten things even with that restriction, so let me know if you need a shout out. Or feel free to promote your goods and services in the comments.

celebrating with friends, stimulating the economy

Last night we celebrated ladyeuthanasia's natal festivities at the Villain's Tavern. We commandeered the mezzanine, which gave us a great view of the goings on at the bar. Good drinks & excellent beer selection. The food menu is small, but you can't go wrong with the demon burger (though I heard less flattering things about the chicken, and how can you trust even a villainous lair that misspells Caesar Salad?). But we were there for the company, and there was certainly no disappointment there. A happy birthday girl and lots of good friends. Nice mix.

In other news, I've been car-shopping. I'm working up the courage to do something I've never done before... buy a new car. I feel woefully unprepared to test-drive new cars. Before now, my checklist for test-driving used cars was to make sure that nothing fell off while I was driving it.

I really wanted to have an American car on my list. But after sifting through the data, the last 'American' car to get crossed off my list turned out to be manufactured in Mexico anyway.

In order of testing:

Hyundai Genesis Coupe - I went in thinking I wasn't going to like it much, but it was actually pretty fun to drive. The controls look like a 747 cockpit and I didn't know what anything did, which is something of a minus. I drove the 2.0L engine version, but I think it may be worth trying out the V6, though that's around at my price limit on paper (and -- who are we kidding? -- once all is said and done we'll no doubt be over my 'limit'. Surely, nothing can go wrong if people spend money beyond their means!) Audio system seemed a little weak, but specs suggest it should be better. Probably if properly fiddled with it would be better.

Nissan Altima Coupe - This was sort of the front-runner going into this, based on specs and also my feeble brand loyalty, since my previous cars have both been Nissan Sentras. They didn't have the V6 version available, so I tried the 4. It was fine, and very familiar feeling, unlike the Hyundai. I wondered if the continuously variable transmission would feel weird, but apart from feeling a little cheated that there weren't any jerks throwing you into the realm of fast, it wasn't weird at all, just a really smooth ride. It was a little boring, and the trunk is really tiny, but I'm willing to drive further from home to test out the genuine V6 version. Audio sounded great; Nissan really seems to have audio figured out, even for base models.

Honda Accord - Again, not quite the car I wanted to test. This time, I got the V6, but the 4-door instead of the 2-door. [As an aside, the tsunami has definitely impacted availability for some Japanese imports, particularly Honda, it seems. The 2012 Accord is expected in the states in May 2012. The '12 Nissan Altima is already here.] The V6 made a pleasing roar, but the actual feeling of acceleration was not as peppy as one would hope. Maybe with the smaller coupe it would feel better, but it didn't sell me. The Accord is definitely worthy of being a super top-selling car. Lots of features and nth-generation improvements, but I didn't click with its soul.

Mazda Miata - Damn, but this car is cute. Yes, it is really fun to drive. The engine isn't huge, but neither is the car, so it's very nimble. Sadly, I am just too large for the Miata. With the top up, I nominally fit inside the car. But worse, the level of my eyes is exactly at the same height as the rear-view, which effectively blocks half the windshield from my view. Seriously. With the top down, the visibility is fine, since I can see to the sides and over the top of the windshield, but with the top up, it's not really acceptable. If I could have an extra car, just for zipping up to Santa Barbara for winetastings, it would be grand, but for me it is not an everyday car.

Future actions:
Test V6 Genesis Coupe
Test V6 Altima Coupe

(As a total aside, Dr. Pookie reminded me that while we were in our hotel in Cuzco, we dimly heard someone playing Shirley Bassey belting out "Goldfinger"... but not the film version... the most excellent Propellerheads remix.)